Educational Workshops on Organic Dairy Management

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $39,377.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Ken Andersen
University of California Cooperative Extension

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: parasite control, feed additives, feed formulation, free-range, feed rations, herbal medicines, homeopathy, manure management, mineral supplements, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, preventive practices, probiotics, range improvement, grazing - rotational, housing, vaccines, watering systems, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: continuous cropping, nutrient cycling
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, cooperatives
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities


    In response to regional dairy industry needs and rapidly growing interest in organic management, we helped offer educational workshops to give producers accurate, science-based information addressing the specific challenges of organic dairies. We selected workshop topics based on input from dairy producers.

    On April 1-2, 2005, we co-sponsored the 2nd Annual Western Organic Dairy Conference, which featured talks on organic livestock health care, nutrition, and NOP regulations. On November 16, 2005, we hosted a workshop on “Integrated Parasite Management for Ruminants.” On March 17-18, 2006, we co-sponsored the 3rd Annual Western Organic Dairy Conference, including a half-day dairy field tour and a full day of presentations on herd health, soil and pasture management, and organic certification issues.

    Project objectives:

    Our objectives were: 1) to provide dairy producers with science-based information they need to manage a dairy herd organically; 2) to assist dairy producers in networking with technical specialists and with other producers; 3) to enhance sustainability of our regional dairy industry; and 4) to extend low-cost technical services to limited resource dairy producers.

    To achieve objective 1, we carefully selected speakers with technical expertise in the topics they presented and supplementing the oral presentations with written reference materials.
    To achieve objective 2, we provided opportunities for dairy producers to meet with other attendees of the workshop and to meet technical experts who can advise them individually and in person.
    To achieve objective 3, we provided dairy producers with tools they need to be successful in their transition to organic. An increase in organic dairy production will enhance the sustainability of our regional dairy industry.
    To achieve objective 4, we used the grant funds provided to cover the costs of bringing technical experts to our region to advise dairy producers as a group, with some time provided for individual questions and concerns to be addressed.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.